Evolution Driving School Phase 1

Finally, I got my Evo School Treatment!
Special Thanks to Danny, Dave and David for a great school.
It was fun, and very very helpful lessons.

I start feeling I’m getting slower last couple years, and probably I was.
I have noticed I was over driving here and there, but wasn’t sure how not to…
This year I got Tofu, 2019 Miata, and this made it painfully obvious, I gotta do something about it.

In the morning, before the session started, my goal was throttle control. It wasn’t too far off from what I needed to learn, but at the end of the day, I found it wasn’t as a technique of how to control throttle, but more of the metal state to control the throttle.

This is for my own memo and reminder for the future me, when I forget about these basics, and start driving like a madman again…

The biggest takeaway from the school was Patience! Patience!! Patience!!!.
There are turns I can only take at slow speed. Trying to go faster will end up with understeer and cost me time.
Driving at 90% of car’s (and drivers’s) capability will be faster than doing at 103% and ruin the run.

Look Ahead
Looking ahead is to think and plan ahead. You can only react to things ONE second ahead of you.
When you COMMIT to one elements, start looking at the next important cones.
Only 10 or 15 cones are what matters on the course. The rests are distraction. Scan from one key cone to another to make a flow.

Looking back each elements:

Look at the first element, find the best way to enter the element, and align the car
This is the time to imagine the course, and have a mental run. Identify all the key cones, imagine the line
First and second cones set the rhythm
Hit back side of the first cone, then back side of the second
Start scanning for the next key cones when I commit to the second cone
Enough braking before turn in, once the car start turning in, keep steady throttle to maintain the speed
If pushes, lift the throttle will tuck in the front. However, its better to have 25% throttle all the way than going 50% throttle and then lift off to tuck in, and then back to 50%
DO NOT RUSH to get back on throttle. For me, when I feel like I should start throttling, is always too early.
Car can only go so fast around certain turn. Fighting with the car to turn is slow way to do it
Looking ahead pays off here. Draw one smooth curved line instead of with sharp corner. by looking a element ahead, it dictate the angle I needed to enter the turn.
Sharp turn require hard braking, instead, make round-y-er turn and carry momentum
Chicago Box-es
Identify what corns matter. they are 3 cone slalom. rest are just to fool the driver’s eye
Autocross courses are not obstruction race, nor cone dodging. Find a small road course within the autocross course
Other things
Get a co-driver, or someone to bounce the idea during the event, and to get feedbacks
Data collection is good. Maybe get solo storm…
don’t get caught up with co-driver or other driver’s driving style. Find where they are fast, and try to reduce the mistake/timeloss in that section.

Patience! Patience!! Patience!!!
Go Slow to Go Fast
Look Ahead, Think Ahead, Plan Ahead

These are nothing new, I’ve been told 100s of times, and I even told other drivers the same thing.
However, I did forget how to do it… It is almost funny how hard it is to drive slow, and I didn’t know how slow is slow enough to go fast…

Now, I need to remember what I learned this weekend, and actually execute during the event… that is another difficult thing…

Finally here’s the video of my last 3 runs.

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